Rep. Courtney, Connecticut Congressional Delegation Press for Access to SBA Paycheck Protection Program by Connecticut Self-Employed Agricultural Workers
Yesterday, the Connecticut Congressional Delegation sent a letter to the Small Business Administration (SBA) requesting additional clarification to ensure that self-employed agricultural workers are eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The Delegation received feedback from Connecticut Agricultural Commissioner Brian Hurlburt and the Connecticut Farm Bureau that the lack of clear guidance related to self-employed agricultural workers has created inconsistencies with eligibility determinations for the PPP from different lending institutions.
“While we applaud the speed at which the Paycheck Protection Program was rolled out, we hope that you may address the concerns of our agricultural business constituents before additional funding is authorized for disbursement by Congress,” the members wrote. “To ensure consistency among regional SBA offices and to address the needs of small businesses with unique tax filing situations, we urge you to issue guidance clarifying that both Schedule C and Schedule F taxpayers are eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program. Self-employed agricultural producers remain a critical facet in local food supply chains and we must ensure they remain solvent by clarifying their eligibility for certain SBA programs.
Under interim guidance issued by the SBA, there is only clarified processes for applying for PPP for individuals who file their self-employment income using a Form 1040, Schedule C. Many self-employed farmers and agricultural workers file using the Form 1040, Schedule F—a tax filing form unique for reporting taxable income from farming or agricultural activities. While farmers are indeed eligible for the PPP, many lending institutions have not interacted with farmers in regards to SBA programs before. Guidance for lending institutions specific to Form 1040, Schedule F filers will help ease the ability of farmers to access this critical program.